Yesterday was a long day with a lot of ups and downs. I haven’t seen Nunzio in a while so I went over to call him this morning. I knocked on his door and he opened the door and invited me in. Nunzio led me into the kitchen because he wanted to finish eating his breakfast sandwich. We both sat at the kitchen table, he picked up his ham and egg sandwich chomped on it like a Beaver chomping a big tree branch. Well I figured that Nunzio isn’t going to talk much with all that bread, ham and eggs in his mouth so I started telling him all about my AAA badge, Silver Treasure Chest and Peckers stupid Whitewall Tire Game. His eyes are wide open as he’s chewing away and listening to my stories. Every now and then he would grunt “Ha-hum, Ha-hum,” Nunzio finished his sandwich and drank a big glass of milk to wash it down. When he finished slurping his glass of milk he leaned over with his arms on the kitchen table and said, “Holy shit, you’re one busy little guy. Well, I’ve got some news for you.
My Uncle Benny came over last week and he gave me a pair of his old binoculars be brought back from the war. The binoculars are the neatest thing, when you look into them you can see anything you point them at up close. I mean if somebody is walking two blocks away you can see the buttons on their shirt. If you open your back window, look through them at the building across the yard. You can see some of the women getting ready for bed, when, ya know, I take a peek at these girls taking their cloths off my face gets all red.” I look at him straight into his eyes and say, “Nunzio, you’re a freaking Pepping Tom. If somebody sees you looking into their widows, they well come over here and beat the hell out of you. Then when your parents find out what you’re doing you will get another beating. What in the hell are you thinking, you will never get away with it. So stop doing it right now or I will spill the beans on you, got it!” Nunzio looked down at the table with his sorry face, he’s not a bad kid, he’s just not too bright about things and I’m just trying to protect him. “Okay, okay, I won’t do it anymore.
I feel guilty about looking into people’s windows because I know that I would be upset if I found out that somebody was peeping at my Mom when she’s getting ready for bed.” “I’ve got an idea, let’s go over to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel construction site and find a mound of dirt and rock that we can climb. Then we can take turns looking through the binoculars and pretend that we are explores trying to find our way out of the wilderness. This could be part of our Silver Treasure Chest Pirate Game. These binoculars will come in handy in finding the clues on the Skull Island Treasure Map.” We left Nunzio’s apartment and found a vacant lot close to the construction site filled with rocks piled about twenty feet high. It is perfect for our look out. Nunzio gave me his binoculars and a note pad. I climb to the top of the mound and sat down. I looked through the binoculars. Wow what a view, I could see everything from three or four block away up close. I perched there for ten minutes and imagined that I was checking the Skull Island map for clues to the Pirate Silver Treasure Chest. I can’t wait to tell Roger the Professor about my ideas. I called down to Nunzio and told him that’s it’s his turn to climb up to the lookout.
As Nunzio Superman was looking through the binoculars with his superman ex-ray vision and then he yells down to me that the Potato Man is two blocks away pushing his cart in this direction. I’m thinking to myself how in the hell can Superman be hungry after eating that huge Breakfast sandwich only an hour ago. After all, he’s such a big guy, that’s why we call him Superman. He climbs down from the mound of rocks and says, “Hurry let’s get a couple of baked potatoes and go to Coffey Park to eat them. It’s a nice day; we can enjoy eating the potatoes in the soft cool grass. Come on, come this way.” He takes off running with the binoculars in one hand and the note pad in the other. It’s funny to see Nunzio, a fat ass big mother of a guy, running like he’s trying to catch a Trolley. I’m running right behind him when we caught up to the Potato Man. Nunzio is such a big guy and I’m a peewee compared to him that we must of looked like Mutt and Jeff. I don’t know why, the potatoes cooking on the Potatoes’ Man’s cart smell so good but they do. Nunzio pulls out twenty cents a buys two huge potatoes, one for each of us. The Potato Mans wrapped each hot potato in newspaper. They are so hot I could not hold mine too long, I put my potato on a stoop nearby to cool off a little.
On our way to Coffey Park we stopped at DeFonte’s sandwich shop to buy two Manhattan Special sodas. When we got to Coffey Park we found a shady spot under a big maple tree, sat in the grass and starting eating our potatoes. Boy, you wouldn’t think that a hot potato with a Manhattan Special Soda would taste so good, but it did. When we finished eating we just laid there in the cool grass, looking up at the sky daydreaming. We must have dosed off for a half hour when I said, “okay that’s it, and I’m not going to sleep here all day. Let’s go find our gang on Hicks street and see what they’re doing.” It wasn’t easy but we got up and walked slowly back home. As we turned the corner on Nelson Street we could see and hear the guys playing street hockey. I love to play street hockey. I ran up to them and shouted that I’m going home to get my skates and hockey stick and Nunzio did the same. I ran up two flights of stairs up to our apartment. I was huffing and puffing when I walked in but nobody was home.
So I looked under my sister’s bed and found my roller skates and an old walking cane that I used as a hockey stick. I ran back downstairs, out the front door to hook up with my friends. When I got there I found six guys playing the hockey game. Great, with Nunzio now we will have four guys on each side. The two old soda crates were set up as goals on either side of the street. Mike Tomato won the toss and picked me to play on his side. Reno the Greek didn’t mind because he got Nunzio Superman, who is almost twice my size. It started to rain a little as the game started but that okay, because the rain will help me skate around Nunzio who can’t move as fast as I can. A bunch of girls stood on the sidewalk to watch us play. We use a solid hand ball as a hockey puck. There’s always a lot of action in hitting the puck and each other as we race towards the goal. Some kids like to play street hockey with an old guy standing using his watch to time the two periods but we play for points. The team that gets ten points in the goal first wins the game. My old cane is not the best hockey stick but my speed makes up for it. I got banged up pretty good my arms and knees were bleeding.
I didn’t feel the pain from my cuts and burses because I was hot. I scored six points out of ten and we won the game. It was like a championship game for the block and the girls were cheering me on. They went crazy yelling and screaming when I scored the winning point. We took a couple of victory laps and then we sat down on the curb to talk about how great we were in kicking Reno the Greek’s team’s ass. After we finished patting ourselves on the back we went into Chickie’s grocery store to buy chips and sodas so we could eat and dry off before we went home. Chickie gave me a towel and band aids for my wounds because she knew that my mother would be very upset if I went home bleeding. I didn’t care much because I love to play street hockey.